martes, 11 de mayo de 2010

Interview to Beth Fantaskey

JR: Before we start, Beth, I would like to thank you on behalf of Juvenil Romántica and its readers for granting us this interview. How does it feel after the success of “Jessica´s guide to dating on the dark side” in Spain?

B.F.: Thanks so much for inviting me to take part in the interview. I’m extremely excited about the wonderful reception the book has enjoyed in Spain so far. It’s been fantastic! I also want to say “thank you” to all of the Spanish readers who have been nice enough to contact me and say they loved the story. It’s really nice to connect with a new group of fans!

JR: We know Jessica´s Guide was your first published novel. Was it the first book you had ever written? How was the process of publishing the novel?

B.F.: I actually completed two manuscripts before Jessica’s Guide, but they weren’t projects that I loved, and I think that was reflected in the quality of the work. When I started writing Jessica’s Guide, I knew that it was the book I really wanted to write. Not surprisingly, it got a much better reception from publishers than stories that I wasn’t passionate about writing.
In fact, the manuscript sold just a few weeks after I finished writing it. The whole process went very quickly!

JR: And talking about the writing process, which are your favourite characters and scenes? Do you keep any funny memory you would like to share with us?

B.F.: I loved writing vampire Prince Lucius’s letters home to his uncle in Romania. I actually laughed out loud as I was writing them. And because Lucius writes from a European perspective, the letters gave me a chance to look at my own culture through someone else’s eyes – and make fun of some American habits, like the way we go absolutely crazy decorating for Christmas, which completely exasperates Lucius.
I am also fond of both the scenes in which the main character, Jessica, puts Lucius in his place, before she falls for him. I vividly remember writing the scene in which Jessica (who lives on a farm) stabs Lucius’s foot with a pitchfork. I thought, “Can I really have her do that?” Then I thought, “Sure, why not? He’s so arrogant, he deserves it!”

JR: Thanks to your website we know there is a mini sequel to Jessica´s guide, which is available in internet for free. Unfortunately, there isn´t a Spanish version of it, but we would like to know how did the idea come. Had you planned on writing it only for your website?

The “mini sequel” was written as a free, interactive “thank you” to all of the readers who asked to see Jess and Lucius get married. I wanted to give fans of the story a chance to actually “take part” in the wedding, so I invited them to vote on where the ceremony would be held, what Jess’s dress would look like – even if Jess and Lucius would kiss or bite each other to seal their union.
It was always just intended for my website, and although my publisher recently discussed releasing it in book form, the decision was made to keep it strictly on-line. (Although it may be available next year as an e-book.)
So far it’s been translated into Italian, and a French translation is coming soon, so I hope someday there will be a Spanish version, too. If you’re interested in reading the wedding in Spanish, contact the publisher, Ediciones Versatil, and ask for a translation!

JR: Your second book published, Jekel loves Hyde, went on sale last spring in the U.S.. Can you talk a little about the novel? How did you come to the idea of making this nod to the classic by Stevenson, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde?

B.F.: Jekel Loves Hyde is about two teenagers discover that they share a mysterious – possibly deadly – connection to the old Robert Louis Stevenson novel. As they work to solve the puzzle, they become more dangerous, and more attracted, to one another. It’s a slightly darker tale than Jessica’s Guide, with lots of twists and turns and a very intense love story.
I honestly don’t know where the idea came from. One day the phrase “Jekyll loves Hyde,” just popped into my mind, and it seemed full of possibilities to me. Soon I was developing a story about an old chemical formula that creates monsters, and the boy and girl who have to grapple with having that as a legacy.

JR: Could you tell us about your future projects? Would you like to try a new genre or will you continue with romantic YA novels?

B.F.: I’ll be staying with YA novels for now. I really like writing about teenagers, because I think they often experience things more intensely than adults. We all share the same emotions, but when you’re young, love and loss are new to you, and therefore more powerful.
Right now I’m completing the sequel to Jessica’s Guide. It will be released in the United States next fall (2011). It has been incredibly fun to revisit Jess and Lucius’s world, and introduce some new characters, too – including a very sexy, funny Italian vampire.

JR: And speaking of your projects, will you be published in Spanish again?

B.F.: I hope so, but there are no plans now. It all depends upon how well Jessica’s Guide does. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

Acknowledgement to Beth Fantaskey for her colaboration in this interview

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